Fr. John Peeters has served in the Bourbonnais/Kankakee region for 20 years, including the last 12 as pastor of St. Patrick Church. But his work in the area goes beyond parish boundaries.
Just this week, Fr. Peeters was recognized by the Dennis J. Smith Legacy Foundation, as the recipient of its Caring for the Community Award.
The award was created in 2007 in memory of “Denny” Smith, to recognize people who serve the greater Kankakee County area with dignity and selflessness.
The foundation raises scholarship money for Bishop McNamara High School — where Fr. Peeters serves as executive chaplain — and Kankakee Community College. Its proceeds also benefit the ALS Foundation aimed at finding a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which ultimately claimed Smith.
The inscription on the award “applauds Fr. Peeters’ many years of service to the people of Kankakee County — and around the world.”
It was the second award in as many years for Fr. Peeters. Just last year, he was recognized by officials with the Kankakee County Hispanic Partnership, who are committed to reducing language barriers and improving access to services for Hispanic residents.
Fr. Peeters received the “Make a Difference Award” for his caring ministry and translating services at area hospitals and nursing homes.
At the same time, Fr. Peeters plays an important role with the Viatorian Community, serving as a translator for Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, Superior General, at meetings around the world.
“This award is well deserved,” Fr. Egan said. “(Fr. Peeters) is heavily invested in the Kankakee area and does so many things, for so many people, that fly under the radar.”